Here comes my review of ‘Honey Boo Boo’
by Kelvin Wade
I don’t know how I came across the name “Honey Boo Boo,” but I had no idea who it was. I googled it and found that it’s the nickname of a 7 year old girl from the TLC show “Toddlers and Tiara” who has since been given her own show called, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” So I had to watch four episodes to see what the fuss was about.
The show answers the question, “What would it be like if a camera crew followed a Jerry Springer guest home?”
“Honey Boo Boo Child” a.k.a. Alana Thompson, 7, lives in tiny McIntyre, Georgia a stone’s throw from train tracks. She shares the modest home with her 300 pound beauty-challenged mother June, mom’s boyfriend and Alana’s father, the tobacco chewing “Sugar Bear,” and her sisters “Chickadee,” 17, “Chubbs,” 15, and “Pumpkin,” 12.
The family appears to be the inspiration for Jeff Foxworthy’s career.
Though the show is called, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” it’s Alana’s mom who seems to get most of the screen time. Or perhaps that’s simply because it’s hard to see around her and her multiple chins. She sneezes, belches and farts in the middle of talking without a lick of shame. And though presumably she and her family speaks English, the show frequently is subtitled so you’ll understand what they’re saying. Their garbled speech sounds like they were taught to speak by someone who spoke fluent Ebonics with their mouth full of oatmeal all the time.
Honey Boo Boo has catch phrases like “A dolla makes me holla” and “You betta redneck-og-nize!” And yes, they even come in ringtones so you can publicly announce your lack of good judgment.
In the episodes that I saw, family meals appear to consist of ginormous tubs of cheese balls. They wash their hair in the kitchen sink. And the family believes in extreme couponing, and storing a convenience store’s worth of food supplies and toiletries like they’re expecting the end of days.
The girls are unafraid to parade around with their gelatinous bellies hanging out, especially the oldest one, who is pregnant. The father is no longer in the picture, which is a shock to absolutely no one.
I know this sounds redundant but they have a pet pig named Glitzy. In one episode the pig pinches a loaf on the dining room table. Of course you’re probably thinking, “Why would a pig be on the dining room table?” (Unless it was glazed and had an apple in it’s mouth.) I don’t know. Why would pigs live in a little house next to railroad tracks in a tiny town in Georgia?
As a new viewer, you’d think you’d be upset that 7-year-old Alana is a beauty pageant contestant. After all, it’s hard to think about children in beauty pageants without thinking of JonBenet Ramsay, the pint-sized Colorado beauty queen who was murdered in 1996. What kind of parent cakes makeup on their 6 year old, puts them in clothes baring their midriff and wants them to be sexy? That’s cringeworthy at best.
And Mama June has been blasted in the media earlier this year for giving Alana “Go Go Juice,” a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew to pick up her energy for pageants.
But with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” you never get to the outrage of the pageants because you’re too busy watching the slow motion train wreck that is this family’s life. It’s the Munsters without anyone normal looking. And Alana has seemingly never won more than third place in a competition and despite her earnestness and sassy attitude, appears unlikely to win any.
When you watch June and her boyfriend go out for a romantic dinner at a cafeteria I guess it’s an upgrade because you’re half-expecting them to eat out of a trough. When they go shopping in a dumpster or participate in the Redneck Games it’s not shocking and you don’t get the feeling that they’re putting anything on just for the TV show. Cameras or not, you get the feeling that you’re seeing what this family does.
Sure it’s exploitation. Yes, it’s one of the reasons the terrorists hate us. And I’m pretty sure the series is mentioned in the Book of Revelations. But if this is what this family has to do to make money in a tough economy and fans want to watch it, then critics should let it go. I can’t be mad at ’em.
It’s obvious the producers of the show are going for redneck shock value or they wouldn’t begin the show with the mother farting.
I’ve had a lot of fun ridiculing the show, but it’s not the most obnoxious show on TV. After the aforementioned Jerry Springer, Toddlers and Tiaras, the Housewives franchise, Mob Wives, Jersey Shore, the Kardashians and a zillion other brainless reality shows, it seems kind of silly to think “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is striking some new low. This is just television in 2012, as embarrassing as it may be.